Medicare Open Enrollment: Five Things You Need to Do

medicare 50th anniversary Routines help keep us focused, organized, and even healthy. However, if your health routine doesn’t include preparing for Medicare’s Open Enrollment, now’s the time to kick-start a new healthy habit.

If you have a Medicare health or prescription drug plan, you should review and compare coverage options. The Open Enrollment runs through December 7 and is the time you can make changes to your plan. Even if you’re happy with your current coverage, you might find a better fit for your budget or your health needs. If you miss an Open Enrollment deadline, you’ll most likely have to wait a full year before you can change your plan.

Here are five things every Medicare beneficiary can do to get in the Medicare Open Enrollment routine.

  1. Review your plan notice. Be sure to read any notices from your Medicare plan about changes for next year, especially your “Annual Notice of Change” letter. Look at your plan’s information to make sure your drugs are still covered and your doctors are still in network.
  1. Think about what matters most to you. Medicare health and drug plans change each year and so can your health needs. Do you need a new primary care doctor? Does your network include the specialist you want for an upcoming surgery? Does your current plan cover your new medications? Does another plan offer the same value at a lower cost? Take stock of your health status and determine if you need to make a change.
  1. Find out if you qualify for help paying for your Medicare. Learn about programs in your state to help with the costs of Medicare premiums, your Medicare Part A (hospital insurance) and Medicare Part B (medical insurance) deductibles, coinsurance and co-payments, and Medicare prescription drug coverage costs. Visit Medicare.gov or make an appointment with a local State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) counselor if you need help.
  1. Shop for plans that meet your needs and fit your budget. You can use the Medicare Plan Finder tool to see what other plans are offered in your area. A new plan may:
  • Cost less;
  • Cover your drugs costs; or
  • Let you use the providers you want, like your doctor or pharmacy.

If you find that your current coverage still meets your needs, then you don’t need to make any changes. Remember, during Medicare Open Enrollment, you can decide to stay in Original Medicare or join a Medicare Advantage Plan. If you’re already in a Medicare Advantage Plan, you can switch back to Original Medicare.

  1. Check your plan’s star rating before you enroll. The Medicare Plan Finder includes Star Ratings for the 2016 Medicare health and prescription drug plans. Plans are rated for quality on a one- to five-star scale: one star represents poor performance and five stars represent excellent performance. Be sure to use the ratings to compare the quality of any health and drug plans you are considering.

These are a few easy ways to get a jump-start on your Medicare Open Enrollment. For more information, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) and say “Agent.” TTY users should call 1-877-486-2048. Help is available 24 hours a day, including weekends. If you need help in a language other than English or Spanish, let the customer service representative know the language. You can also visit a local SHIP counselor. SHIP counselors provide free, one-on-one, non-biased Medicare assistance. Get free personalized health insurance counseling by calling your SHIP at the number listed on the Medicare contacts page or call 1-800-MEDICARE.

 

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256 thoughts on “Medicare Open Enrollment: Five Things You Need to Do

    • Because “Medicare’ is not well informed about the importance of dental care to wellness? Perhaps, the Medicare officials need to update themselves on more areas to keep us healthy rather than treating us after the Medicare system failed us.

      • Hi Phyllis, I have not followed through but I did read that we can apply for “real” Dental insurance to Delta Dental. This is the Dental plan I have had for years as an Employer provided plan and through Obamacare. It is not too expensive. I believe it was $49 a month under Obamacare. This is my first month on Medicare.

  1. I have Medicare part A only, and that’s all I want to have for next year also, because I have employer sponsored health insurance. Do I need to re-enroll or do anything? I think re-enrollment is for those who are making change. Am I right?

    • If all you want is your Part A, you do not have to do anything. Open Enrollment is for people with Part D drug insurance and Part C Medicare Advantage health plans

      • Most employers have poiicles that allow for you to add spouses and children to your plan but will most likley ask you to contribute to the premium.These poiicles are usually outlined in your employee handbook and if you don’t have one, the HR department or your boss should be able to easily answer your questions. It’s a home human resources issue that comes up frequently.References : personal experience.

    • This “open Enrollment” is for people who don’t have health coverage. Medicare isn’t part of the Health Insurance Marketplace, so if you have Medicare coverage combined with a job-based health insurance program and if you find that your current coverage still meets your needs, then you don’t need to make any changes. However, you should speak to your personnel office, health benefits advisor, or health plan to see what’s best for you. You can also visit http://www.Medicare.gov for more information. Generally, if you or your spouse are still working and you are covered under a group health plan based on that employment, you don’t need to file for Medicare part B until you or your spouse stops working or drops health care coverage. We hope this information helps!

      • I was told that if I am still working and have health insurance through my employer, then I don’t have to sign up for ANY Medicare, not Part A or any other even though I’m 65. Was that wrong?

        • I was told to sign up for Medicare Part A. It doesn’t cost anything. Medicare told me I needed to do that by age 65. I’m still working so that is the only medicare card I have.

          • Hi Fay, if you are actively working and covered under your employer’s group health insurance program, you can delay enrollment into Medicare Part B until you stop working or the health coverage is dropped. However, we suggest that individuals speak to their personnel office, health benefits advisor, or health plan to see what’s best for them, and to prevent any penalties or delayed enrollment in the future. To learn more about the Medicare enrollment periods visit http://www.Medicare.gov.

    • I would suggest that you contact them first, to find out IF, you need to re-enroll, in order to clarify your situation.

    • Yes I do social security clerk told me that if I didn’t take now that if my illnesses become worse an needed more medications an I reapply like two or three years from now I was gona be penalized 10 percent each year for not taking it when it the first year it was offered to me ir I could wait til I was 65 do I took now so I dint get penalized but I think it depends on your health to buy the state will help with the social security premium that you pay each month that comes out of your benefits that what I’m working on now

      • there is an exception to what you were told. If you are a veteran they cannot charge you those penalties.

        My dad was told he would have an outrageous penalty to pay, as he never signed up for part d as didn’t understand it.

        An independent insurance man told me about the veterans insurance exception at an informational meeting I happened to go to. It was correct.

  2. How can I change my address and get a new social security card if I can’t get to the local office. I’m100% disabled and have no one to take me there. Could you please let me know. Thank you.

    • sign in to the social security website and ask for a new card also to change your address. You need to have a web account on the site to do that.

    • Hello Steve, if you are receiving Social Security benefits, you can create a my Social Security account to change your address online first. If you are receiving SSI, you must report the new address to your local Social Security office. If you are not yet receiving benefits, you don’t need to change your address with us at this time.
      If you need a replacement Social Security card, you can mail the application and required documents to your local office. Please visit our “New or Replacement Social Security Number and Card” web page, to learn more on the process and what documents you will need to get a card. Please make sure that you use your new address in your application for a replacement Social Security card.
      You can also call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00a.m. and 7:00p.m. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Hope this information helps!

    • Do you have a homecare person? If so, ask them to assist you at getting transportation to get to the S.S. office. We ALL, have a right to transportation and you should have extra rights because you are totally disabled!

      • As Medicare recipients gahter information for the November 15 enrollment date, I recommend PlanPrescriber.com for help with finding the Medicare health plan options in your zip code and doing a plan comparison of benefits. You will also be able to determine whether your current doctor accepts a plan you are considering.

  3. I would like the Social Security people and advertisers to distinguish between the government Medicare program and private Medicare Supplemental insurance policies. Apparently, there are multiple choices under multiple choices. One word, “supplemental”, would make it more clear to the aged population. “Medicare Advantage” means nothing to me. Thank you.

  4. I need a work history and jobs you have listed for me , i need it for my State pensión i belive they did not count My national guard time ,and other jobs.

    • To obtain a “Detailed Earnings Information” record, you must complete and mail a request (Form SSA-7050-F4) to the address provided in the form. You can also create a my Social security account to review your earnings record. For more information, you can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00a.m. and 7:00p.m. We hope this information helps!

  5. Good morning.
    I am concerned with the Medicare Card Number, that its the number of our social security. It is necessary to change this identification cards for another more safe, and without this secret number. The card need more security, against the thief of identity.

    Thank you so much for your time.

    Pierre Millet
    Cuban lawyer
    U.S. citizen

  6. I was disabled senior citizen and i had heart attack/stroke in 20004.My company paid disabilities for two years and stopped afterwards. How can i get social securities indefinitely. Do i need a lawyer to process my disability with social security? I am permanently disabled on job and now retired by my company on disability.Will i get a social security as i am getting at present.

      • you say you are a senior citizen with disabilities. From social security you only receive one payment. you would not get your social security payments for being retired senior citizen and a social security disability payment too.

        People who receive social security disability payments have not yet reached retirement age. Once they do, the payments switch to regular social securtiy for senior citizens who are retired. Typically the amount of the monthly payment does not change though.

    • It never hurt to contact a S.S. attorney. Try and watch for the commercials on tv and get their number OR have someone GOOGLE S.S. attornies numbers for you.

  7. My wife Lourdes Virginia Wallis and my self are presently covert by Medicare. We were just declared not eligible for SSI and got immediately a letter from AHCA indicating that our Medic Aid would stop unless justifying and declare eligible by DCF. It is urgent to define what our situation is.
    We are appealing to SSA formally . We did it personally and did not work.
    The date expiration is today. Can I get an extension?
    Winston and Lourdes Wallis (7902) (1719)

    • Unfortunately, your question is a bit more complex than we can handle in this forum. For your security, we do not have access to information about your account in this venue. Please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

  8. I’m on SSD with government helping with my ins. payment for parts A & B. I also have part D for my medicines. I’m wondering if all this works for me, do I need to have a supplemental ins.? Does that just help for part C? Or does it help with the 20% that is not converted? I have Share of Cost with Medicaid but it’s $1,669.00 every month! My check wouldn’t even cover this! How can I be approved for SSD with all this other help but have a ridiculous amount with the State???? Pls. help me, do I just need a supplemental ins? Thanks

    • kori, are you ON MEDICARE?

      if yes, look into HUMANA PPO; current deductions are $47.00/month plus HUMANA gets what SS pays for medicare.

      they’ve done a good job in the 3-4 years we;ve had it.

      bcbs we were paying $1200/month then it went up another $500/month to $1700 !!
      highway robbery; glad we got RID OF BCBS.

      there are others out there that will pay.
      i end up in the DONUT hole due to all my meds especially the expensive bydureon injecton shots for my diabetis.

      good luck.

      bettyg, iowa
      went from ssdi to RETIRED when i turned 66

  9. I am happy with my 2015 coverage. Will that automatically renew for 2016 or must I do something more. I have reviewed all the recommended steps

  10. As retired USAF, I’ve had Medicare A & B for several years, plus Trycare-for-life. I’ve had several mild strokes and open-heart surgery and everything was covered-and-paid-for.
    Is there anything I need to do in order to keep my total coverage?

    • I’m also retired military. I have Medicare(primary) and Tricare for life(secondary). Does open enrollment apply to me if I’m happy with what I have?

      • Hello Mel, if you have Medicare coverage combined with another health insurance program and if you find that your current coverage still meets your needs, then you don’t need to make any changes. You should always check with your health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for you. You can also visit http://www.Medicare.gov for more information.

    • Hello Dean, if you have Medicare coverage combined with another health insurance program and if you find that your current coverage still meets your needs, then you don’t need to make any changes. You should always check with your health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for you. You can also visit http://www.Medicare.gov for more information.

  11. I am 65 years old. I’ll be 66 in December. I get retirement benefits via Social Security. I have Medicare parts A & B. Also, Part D. I need additional coverage. The older I get, the more I need doctor’s care. Sometimes, I pay a co-pay, sometimes I need to consult specialist. Should I get additional coverage for specialist ?

    • Hello, if you have Medicare coverage combined with another health insurance program and if you find that your current coverage still meets your needs, then you don’t need to make any changes. You should always check with your health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for you. You can also visit http://www.Medicare.gov for more information.

    • Thank you for using our blog Carlos. In order to terminate or opt out of Medicare part B, a signed request for termination and a personal interview are required. Medicare generally does not cover health care while you are outside of the United States, but you may still want to discuss your options. Please contact your local U. S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance.

  12. My husband had very severe stroke and He is now in wheelchair , He lost part of his movements and he is not able to walk , He is losing his mind .. He was paying Medicare premium part A -B once a year . last payment was (596.40 ) . Can you pleas to help me to find if He needs to continuo paying his premium ensurance and how much is for next year, and when we have to pay and where. Thank you.. Ofelia Lawrence

    • Hi Ofelia, we are sorry to hear about your husband’s medical condition. First of all, it sounds like your husband will need help managing his Social Security benefits. If you or another relative are interested in applying to become your husband’s representative payee, you will need to contact your local office for a face-to-face interview. As a representative payee, you will be able to talk with us and have access to your husband’s records. In the future, it will make it easier for you to update his account information. We understand how inconvenient this may be, but we hope that you understand our role in protecting everyone’s personal information. If you have specific questions, or to make an appointment, please call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to speak to one of our representatives. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week.

  13. I will be 65 years old on Dec. 19, 2015, and of course I will have the Medicare coming already at the beginning of December. I guess I will have $104.90 from my social security. I also guess that the $104.90 will be every month from Medicare. Please give me a day where I can go to Social Security in Show Low ,AZ.
    Thank you, Christa Lemons

    • Congratulations on your upcoming 65th birthday Christa! If you receive Social Security benefits, we will automatically deduct the Medicare Part B premium from your monthly payments. Please read our publication about Medicare benefits for more information.

      • I am delaying my SS 9 month. Is it possible not to enrolled in Medicare part A and B? I have born in Aug.1950. I am still working for large company and getting insurance coverage thru my Employer for myself and spouse. I have not enrolled in Medicare PART A and B at all. I have not applied social security benefit up till now. My spouse born in Jan 1957. She did not work at all. I am contributing in HSA plan thru my employer.
        My question is if I apply for SS in Feb. 2017. Do I have option to start my benefit 6 month delay benefit or restorative benefit from last 6 month? In delay benefit option when my Medicare starts. I don’t want six month back start my Medicare. I want to avoid any penalty since I am contributing in HSA at the same time Medicare enrolled. I heard that as soon as you enrolled in SS benefit Medicare kick back up to 6 month

        • Hi Shashi, we generally allow up to six months of retro-activity payments for retirement benefits, only after the applicant has reached his or her full retirement age. No retroactive benefits are payable for any month before individuals reach their full retirement age. As for Medicare, If you are 65 or older and not ready to start your monthly cash benefits yet, you can use our online retirement application to sign up for Medicare Part A ONLY and apply for your retirement benefits later. If you are actively working and covered under your employer’s group health insurance program, you can delay enrollment into Medicare Part B until you stop working or the health coverage is dropped. However, we always suggest that individuals speak to their personnel office, health benefits advisor, or health plan coordinator to see what’s best for them, and to prevent any penalties or delayed enrollment in the future. To learn more about the Medicare enrollment periods visit http://www.Medicare.gov.

    • Hello Christa! If you are having difficulties with your personal my Social Security account, please call 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. After you hear “Briefly tell me why you are calling,” say “Help Desk” for help with a my Social Security account. Sometimes, it might be best to visit your local Social Security office for further assistance.

  14. I just found out today that my Medicare Part B was cancelled. I am in Texas for cancer surgery, something I can’t put off while officials are dealing with whatever red tape caused this debacle. I mailed off my Part B Medicare payment over 10 days ago (something I have to do myself until social security finally starts sending me survivor benefits that I have been trying to get for months now, at which time I can just have it taken out of my social security check).

    In the meantime, what am I supposed to do? I was on the phone
    all day today with Medicare, United Health, and Social Security trying to get this mess straightened out. SS and Medicare both had their systems down, so they could not even check to see if and when my payment posted.

    Looks as if I will have to pay for my entire surgery out of pocket. I can’t afford to put it off.

    Any advice out there?

    Elizabeth

    • We are sorry to hear about your situation, Elizabeth. Unfortunately, we will need some processing time to reinstate your Medicare benefits after we receive your payment in the mail. Please continue to work with your local office, and if necessary, ask to speak with the manager to see how we can help to expedite your request. If you are unable to visit the local office, you can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00a.m. and 7:00p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week.

  15. Hello, Iam really frustrated about the A&B premiums payment each month, I am unemployed and really aren’t getting enough in Social Security
    payment each month,I will be 65 in Dec. and got to
    pay the premiums.Can’t afford anything else.Could we get an increase on the benefits? This will help a
    whole lot. Thanks!

    • Clementine, we are sorry to hear of your difficulties. By law, there will be no Cost-Of-Living Adjustment (COLA) increase for Social Security beneficiaries in 2016. The following information may help: You may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments at age 65. SSI is a needs based program that gives cash assistance to people with limited income and resources who are age 65 or older, blind or disabled.. Please call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for more information. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Also, you may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. Medicare enrollees who have limited income and resources may get help paying for their premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenses from Medicaid. Please call the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at 1-800-633-4227 for more information.

  16. Currently we have a medical advantage plan..have had a medical advantagr for ten years. Am considering a change to medicare and suppliment. Can I/ we do this? Qualifications?

  17. I’m a retired federal civil servant. This is my first year with Medicare and it has been a major disappointment due to the fact that I’m in the Mayo Health care system where Mayo Clinic primary care doctors have opted out. I had excellent federal health insurance before I retired. Now that it’s secondary to Medicare it’s nearly worthless, even though I still paying the full cost for my premiums. Question 1, can I opt out of medicare and have my federal insurer become my primary again or am I forced to be in medicare? Question 2, can I opt out of Medicare part B and have my federal insurer become my primary insurer again? Question 3, If I opt out of medicare do I lose my modest “just enough to cover my medicare premium” social security benefits?

  18. Thank you for a very insightful and easy to understand post about important issues. I am looking forward to your next posts. Regards, Andrew

    • Thank you Andrew! for taking the time and communicating with us through our blog, we are glad you like it and appreciate your comments and feedback. Please continue using our online services and remember that even if you are not eligible for Social Security benefits at this time, you can create a my Social Security account to review your earnings record, and check for future benefits.

  19. I just turn 65 in nov 2 2015..I only enrolled for part A medicare because I have Medical thru California County. I didn’t enroll for part B because I can’t afford 104.90 deduction out of my retirement benefit. Please advice thank you

    • Hi Yolanda! You may qualify for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments. SSI is a needs based program that gives cash assistance to people with limited income and resources, who are age 65 or older, blind or disabled.. Please call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. for more information. Also, you may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. Medicare enrollees who have limited income and resources may get help paying for their premiums and out-of-pocket medical expenses from Medicaid. Please call the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at 1-800-633-4227 for more information.

  20. I will turn 65 on May 17, 2016. I have been receiving information for companies for “Medicare Supplement coverage”.
    The information says “you have this One Enrollment Open Enrollment period in you life.” Medicare Supplement coverage of your choice without medical questions. Enrollment period expires December 07,2015. My question is, do I need to sign up for supplement insurance now or do I wait until I turn 65.

  21. Does the open enrollment deadline for changing the Part B primary care doctor apply to those who are on SSDI disability?

  22. Hello, I am 60 yrs. old, I have been on disability since 2010. Do I have to contact SS to keep taking my premiums out of my check ea month if I change carriers. Why cant middle class people get assistance for medical if they are between husbands making to much to get extra help. when the husband cant help the spouse because he has his own medical to pay because he is not disabled. please help me

    • Hi Janet, if you receive Social Security benefits, we will automatically deduct the Medicare Part B premium from your monthly payments. For information about changes in your medical coverage contact Medicare directly at 1-800-633-4227.

    • Doctors sign contracts with most MA plans. You sholud ask, Are my doctors in the network? And you might ask your doctor’s business manager/contract manager if the MA pan pays its bills on time.

  23. Good morning. I am posting this on behalf of my husband who is receiving SSI disability benefits. The medicare Part B was declined because he is covered under my employer paid health insurance. We did what the letter said to decline Part B. He received a letter yesterday 12/2/15 stating that his benefits for December 2015 will begin in January 2016 with an amount being deducted that is the taxes withdrawn from his benefits monthly. So if the letter is correct he will not receive any benefits for the month of December? Can you explain this?

  24. Why are so many people confused about the essentials of Obama Care? Shouldn’t there be closer workings with the overall Faith Community. And a clear revelation of the relationship between the Departments of Education and HHS in terms of what
    can be done for poor stay-at-home parents who are in recovery rehabilitation?

  25. How can I find out what my penalty will be for enrolling in Part D for the first time even though I was eligible to enroll apparently in 2006? Is there a website table I can look at? Is the fee a set amount or does it depend on income? Do I need to call someone? Thank you!

    • Hi there,
      I am a SHIP counselor (State Health Insurance Assistance program) and my job is to help people navigate and understand their Medicare benefits. I am not reimbursed by insurance companies for the counseling and education I provide. I counsel folks on this stuff day in and day out. Rather than trying to do calculate the Part D premium penalty by hand, I use a special calculator hosted on the the website listed below. I honestly know nothing about who they are or what they do (insurance company I’d guess?), but their estimates are consistently correct. You can trust the numbers they provide you for your penalty.

      http://www.waughagency.com/2013/11/medicare-part-d-penalty-calculator/

  26. i will be 65 next apr.29, 2016. i am currently on social security disability and have been for 2 years in jan. when will i be able to receive medicare and what do i have to do to get it?

    • Alan,
      You are eligible for Medicare after exactly 24 months of receiving SSDI checks. SSA calculates your two year waiting period based on the first month you actually received money, not the first month you were eligible. SSA will automatically sign you up. You don’t need to do anything. They will send you your Medicare card in the mail with a “Welcome packet” of information. If you don’t receive a Medicare card, that means you have a problem ( often the problem is that SSA doesn’t have the most current address for you) and you will need to call them and explain your situation. I have seen SSA send people Medicare cards as early as 6 months before their 65th birthday, or 24th month of receiving SSDI checks.

  27. I have already applied for med part A but have insurance thru my employer. Now I need to get part B because I am going to retire in Jan. How do I do this?

    • At least in my state (Alaska) you HAVE to call social security. Some people can go online to SSA.gov. You could try that first and see if the website kicks you out. If it does, and it usually does, then you will have to visit your local ssa office or call them and request Part B under a special enrollment period. Make sure that if you are going to be eligible for any retiree health coverage that you contact your benefits administrator first to find out how your retiree coverage will work with medicare. You can also contact your local SHIP: https://www.medicare.gov/Contacts/#resources/ships

  28. My husband will be 65 on Tuesday. He is already enrolled in part A and B through SS. He wants dental and prescription…. Here is the important part; He does not want the advantage program. HE WANTS TO KEEP ORIGINAL MEDICARE and get part d and dental separate. How does he do this? I found Florida Blue offers dental for $33. per month. Any suggestions on RX?

    • Go to the medicare plan finder to compare the prescription drug only plans in your area: https://www.medicare.gov/find-a-plan/questions/home.aspx.

      Choose the “Personalized Search” for the most accurate and personalized information.

      CMS also has a series of youtube videos which can explain and demonstrate how to use the tool : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SCvgSZURBA

      Alternatively, you can contact your state’s SHIP. I am a SHIP counselor in Alaska who randomly ran across this website and started providing answers. I am an unbiased Medicare specific insurance counselor. I am not reimbursed by insurance companies. I work for a little non-profit. Each state has a SHIP office with people just like me who are paid by the federal government to provide personalized Medicare Counseling and education. Follow the link below to select your state and find their SHIPs contact information:
      https://www.medicare.gov/Contacts/#resources/ships

  29. I will turn 66 on Dec. 19th and I am still working full time,will I be able to enroll in medicare and how do I go about it.

  30. I never wanted to be enrolled in the SOCIALIST SECURITY SYSTEM ! If we all demand that the so called “HEALTH EDUCATION WELFARE EDUCATION SYSTEM “was closed down and we ordered that the GOV. pay the Citizens the money from those programs ,we would all have $ 70,000.oo to spend on health care, education, welfare, and that is just starters ….. it is by any definition a racket …! or people can continue to buy into DENEY ,DENEY ,appeal PAY LAWYERS for an entitlement ! If a private insurance company did what the gov does they would go to jail ….hum that might be worth thinking about ?! If you want to talk about revolution leave me out ,in this country we the people are the authority over the gov.

    • Medicare and Social Security are two different programs. Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. If you already get Social Security retirement benefits, you can get Medicare at age 65. Also, you can receive Medicare benefits after receiving disability benefits for 24 months. If you don’t get Social Security benefits and you are not ready to apply for them yet, you can sign up for Medicare only, three months before your 65th birthday. Generally, you will be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B automatically. However, because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you have the option of turning it down. For “More Medicare Information” read our publication Medicare. For specific questions about your situation, you can call 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and ask a representative to assist you. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call later in the day or later in the week.

  31. Great post ! I Appreciate the analysis – Does someone know if my assistant could possibly access a sample IRS 1040 – Schedule E example to fill out ?

  32. I have been collecting SSDI for 24 months and received a notice today about a reduction in my monthly award do to medicare plan B. I still have medical coverage and dont need the medicare. If I decline the medicare can you explain what will happen with my current medical coverage.

    • Thank you for your question Ken. Individuals are automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B after they receive disability benefits for 24 months. However, because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you do have the option of turning it down. A beneficiary may refuse Medicare Part B, during his or her Initial Enrollment Period, if that beneficiary or the spouse, actively works and has coverage under a group health plan based on that employment, then he or she doesn’t need Medicare part B until the work activity ends or that health care coverage is dropped. However, we always suggest that individuals speak to their personnel office, health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for them, and to prevent any penalties or delayed enrollment in the future. To learn more about the Medicare enrollment periods visit http://www.Medicare.gov. For specific questions about your case, call 1-800-772-1213, M-F between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and ask a representative to assist you, or you can contact your local office directly. Hope this helps!

      • Ray, Thanks for your response. I Have Aetna as my medical carrier under my retirement benefits do you think under my plan that if I’m offered Medicare that I would have to take it and how would my former company or Aetna know I was offered Medicare. Thanks, Ken

        • Everybody’s situation can be different Ken, your Aetna health-plan representative will be in a better position to answer your question. Also, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services is the agency in charge of the Medicare program. You can read “How Medicare works with other insurance” or visit http://www.Medicare.gov. for more information. As a reminder, you may refuse Medicare Part B during your Initial Enrollment Period, if you are covered under a group health plan based on your or your spouse’s current employment.
          For specific questions about your case, call 1-800-772-1213, M-F between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and ask a representative to assist you, or you can contact your local office directly.

  33. I just need a simple answer to a simple question without having to sit on hold for 10 minutes on the phone. If my husband is supposed to get Medicare in July, is he supposed to get a card in April or May? Our postal carrier is constantly losing our mail. I have no idea if they have lost it or if it’s just not here yet. The only way we even know he’s getting coverage is because we just happened to see it on the Social Security website. We never signed up for it.

    • Hi Val. Individuals already receiving Social Security benefits, and becoming eligible for Medicare, will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). Generally, the card comes in the mail within three months before the month these individuals become entitled to Medicare benefits. Your husband should receive his card at any time now, before the month of July. Beneficiaries with a my Social Security account, can get a replacement card if their original card is lost or destroyed. Please read our publication: Medicare for more information.

  34. I am older than my husband and he is not on medicare yet. I have not work out side the home much so I applied an received medicare A & B under him. We could not afford part B so we had to drop it. How can I re instate part B.

    • Hi Pamela, based on the information you provided, and if you are not eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, you can sign up for Medicare Part B during the General Enrollment Period from January 1 to March 31 of each year. Click here to learn more about the Medicare enrollment periods. In addition, you can visit the Medicare website to learn about programs available to assist people with low income to pay for Medicare expenses. Many states also have programs to help with Medicare payments. You can find out about them by calling your State Medical Assistance Office. To get the local phone number, call the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services at 1-800-633-4227 (TTY, 1-877-486-2048). we hope this information helps.

  35. Humana cancelled my supplemental Rx insurance (although they are still keeping my autopayment each month). Will I be penalized when I change to another provider during open enrollment?

  36. I just started collecting benefits under ex-spouse. Not one person told me my Medicare card would change to my former spouse’s number with a B at end. When a pharmacist tried to input my Medicare card number it came back as INACTIVE – to my complete disappointment – tried calling Social Security – what a nightmare – I can’t be put on hold for hours at a time. Then just today I get a new Medicare with ex-spouse’s Medicare number – no explanation – just this is your Medicare card. I have to say this is very poor service – and left me not knowing why and thinking that somehow I was taken out of the system (a seemingly common error on Social SecurityMedicare- SHAME ON YOU!!!) As senior citizens we deserve better than something like this and full accountability and explanations – Not a surprise like this. I will be writing my legislators – Something like this should NEVER happen

  37. i have been enrolled in part B for october 2016 and did NOT apply for it. I do not want part B at this time. how can i get removed from part B coverage???

    • Hi Mike. In order to voluntarily terminate or opt out of Medicare part B, a signed request for termination and a personal interview are required. To schedule your interview, call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778) Monday through Friday from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM, or contact your nearest Social Security office. Thanks!

  38. I’m not sure I’m in the right place but here goes…My husband is on disability. He has remained on my insurance so there was no need for Part B. He will turn 65 in February 2017. I just called to see about getting Part B and signing him up for Medicare Advantage only to be told he will have to serve a penalty because I retired in 2013. I wasn’t aware that he had to come off my insurance when I retired. I thought, mistakenly evidently, that he stayed on my insurance until he turned 65. He is a diabetic. He has heart issues. He suffered a broken back in August 2016 and is still in a brace. He spent 27 days in hospital from this accident and while there was diagnosed with dementia! I am totally at the end of my rope and don’t know what to do. My insurance says he has to drop to Medicare Advantage at age 65 which won’t pay anything that Medicare won’t pay for. If he doesn’t have Part B our ship is SUNK. What can I do? There has to be a solution to this.

  39. I am widowed, 79 female. I have straight Medicare and have been happy with that, but I really need dental and vision coverage. I am a charity case at our local hospital but pay a $24 co-pay each time I see my family doctor. The girls in the office who do paperwork seem to think I should just stay the way I am. I am confused about all of these “advantage” programs, as it doesn’t look like there is much dental coverage. Please advise. Oklahoma resident.

  40. Help I’m 3 months before 65 years of age. How do apply for Plan A only? I went on-line to apply but it keeps taking me to enrollment for Plan B. What am I doing wrong?

    • Hi Betty! If you’re having difficulties using our online retirement application to sign up for Medicare ONLY, you should call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and ask one of our agents to assist you. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, it’s best if you call later in the week.

  41. Why am I paying the Medicare Part B premium and having Medicare Taxes withheld from my current paycheck?

    My 65th birthday was this past June. I retired from government service in April 2017 and kept my Federal Employees Health Benefit (FEHB). I will get Tricare For Life once I Medicare Part B becomes active.

    I applied for social security benefits and Medicare Part B in May 2017. I began working for a private organization in June 2017. My first paycheck from that organization had a deduction for Medicare Taxes.

    • Thank you for your questions Maceo. Everyone working in covered employment or self-employment regardless of age or eligibility for benefits must pay Social Security and Medicare taxes. Also, everyone must pay a premium for Medicare Part B coverage. If you receive Social Security benefits, we will automatically deduct the Part B premium from your monthly payments. Generally, individuals can decline or delay enrollment into Medicare Part B when covered under an employer’s group health insurance coverage (current employment). However, current law requires TRICARE beneficiaries who are entitled to Medicare Part A to enroll in Medicare Part B to retain their TRICARE benefits. Please visit the TRICARE web page or contact the Department of Defense or a military health benefits advisor for more information. We hope this information helps.

  42. My husband is on SS Disability and has Medicare A & B. He will be 65 in January 2018. Does he have to reapply for Medicare or will everything just transfer over? Also, I will be retiring and taking him off of my health care plan. Will he need a supplemental insurance in addition to his SSDI/Medicare? Thank you!

    • Thank you for your question, Nancy. Your husband does not need to re-apply, his Medicare benefits should continue without interruption. Visit our Disability Planner: Medicare Coverage If You’re Disabled for more information. As always, we recommend that individuals check with their health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what options are available in their situation. To see how Medicare works with other insurance, please visit http://www.Medicare.gov. If you or your husband need further assistance, call us at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. We hope this information helps!

  43. This Sucks.. I called Medicare they told me to sing up for Medicare with Soc. Sec.. This site tells me to call Medicare! ???

    • Hi Rocco. If you already get Social Security retirement benefits, you will be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B automatically, at age 65. Also, at age 65, you can apply online for Medicare ONLY even if you are not ready to retire.
      If you didn’t sign up for Medicare Part B when you were first eligible, and you aren’t eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, you can sign up during the General Enrollment Period between January 1 – March 31 each year. Click here to learn more about the enrollment periods.
      The Medicare Open Enrollment is open now through December 7. It allows current Medicare beneficiaries to review their health care coverage and see if they need to make any changes for next year.
      For “More Medicare Information” read our publication Medicare. For specific questions about your situation, you can call 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and ask a representative to assist you. We hope this information helps!

  44. I responded it to Medicare part B and it was successfully accepted however, upon viewing my phone # there is a missing digit. Please Edit my mobile telephone is 718-510-xxxx.

    • Hello Herman, for security reasons, we do not have access to information about your account in this venue. Remember, never post personal information on social media.
      You can create a my Social Security account to change your address and phone number. See our “Services for people currently receiving benefits” web page for more information.
      You can also update your information by calling our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks!

    • Hello, Roberta. Individuals within three months of age 65 or older and not ready to start their monthly cash benefits can use our online retirement application to sign up for Medicare ONLY and apply for their retirement benefits at a later date. Since you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you have the option of turning it down. However, we suggest that individuals speak to their health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for them, and to prevent any penalties or delayed enrollment in the future. You can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. To learn more about the Medicare enrollment periods visit http://www.Medicare.gov, and read our publication “Apply Online for Medicare – Even If You Are Not Ready to Retire“. We hope this information helps!

  45. I get so tense this time of year , this should be much easier I’m 56 and this is so difficult for me to figure out you send out a book with 50 different companies to choose from .I feel sorry for anyone having to deal with this if we all just had the same drug cost and copay sure would make life easier , its so hard to know who to pick, I can only imagine when the older people have to do this how stressful they must feel , this has got to be easier any help greatly appreciated thank you

  46. I am enrolled in part A and I did it at the time I started taking social security benefits January 1st. 2017, and I am still working and have health insurance through employer, and that is why I have not apply for part B or D, but as soon as I stop working, I will go apply for B and D, and my question is: Do I have to apply for B and D even if I don’t want to as we are living in free country? Please let me know. thanks.

    • Hi Jose. A beneficiary may refuse Medicare Part B, during his or her Initial Enrollment Period, if that beneficiary or the spouse, actively works and has coverage under a group health plan based on that employment, then he or she doesn’t need Medicare part B until the work activity ends or that health care coverage is dropped. Because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you do have the option of turning it down. However, we always suggest that individuals speak to their personnel office, health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for them, and to prevent any penalties or delayed enrollment in the future. To learn more about the Medicare program, please visit http://www.medicare.gov. Thanks!

  47. I’m attempting to get my Medicare card. It is my initial enrollment. I am currently receiving Social Security. I read that I will automatically be enrolled in Parts A & B. Is that correct? If so, when will my Medicare card be sent so that I can proceed to get additional coverage which requires a Medicare card?

    • You are correct, Chris! Generally, individuals receiving Social Security benefits who become eligible for Medicare, are automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B. Your Medicare card will arrive in the mail at the address on file with Social Security. Typically, you can expect to receive your Medicare card at least 6 weeks prior to the month your entitlement for Medicare begins. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to inquire about the status of your card. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks.

  48. Do I need to re-apply for part A Medicare every year? I applied for Part A last year and received my card, but was not sure if I need to apply every year.

    • Thank you for your question, Ramon. Eligible individuals should sign up for Medicare three months before their 65th birthday, even if they’re not ready to start their monthly cash benefits. You can use our online retirement application to sign up for Medicare ONLY and apply for retirement benefits at a later date. Since you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you have the option of turning it down. However, we suggest that individuals speak to their health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for them, and to prevent any penalties or delayed enrollment in the future. To learn more about the Medicare enrollment periods visit http://www.Medicare.gov, and read our publication “Apply Online for Medicare – Even If You Are Not Ready to Retire“. We hope this information helps.

  49. I will be turning 65 in February 2018. I presently am working full time and get insurance through my employer. Not sure when I will be retiring. What form do I need to complete even though I am not ready to retire?

    • Thank you for your question, Rick. Eligible individuals should sign up for Medicare three months before their 65th birthday, even if they’re not ready to start their monthly cash benefits. You can use our online retirement application to sign up for Medicare ONLY and apply for retirement benefits at a later date.
      A beneficiary may refuse Medicare Part B, during his or her Initial Enrollment Period, if that beneficiary or the spouse, actively works and has coverage under a group health plan based on that employment, then he or she doesn’t need Medicare part B until the work activity ends or that health care coverage is dropped. However, we always suggest that individuals speak to their personnel office, health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for them, and to prevent any penalties or delayed enrollment in the future. To learn more about the Medicare enrollment periods visit http://www.Medicare.gov. We hope this helps!

  50. what medicare advantage plans are being offered in boston, massachusetts? please specify all companies involved or point me in the right direction

    thank you

  51. I was told that I would not have my premiums taken out of my check but they are taken money out of my S.S. checks so I want to check my social security and find out why they are taken money from me.

    • Hello Ricki, we apologize for this inconvenience. For security reasons, we do not have access to personal records via this blog. Please continue working with your local office. If you are unable to visit your local servicing office, you may call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks.

  52. My wife’s insurance coverage on me ends June 1, 2018. Do I need to sign up for Part B (already have part A) now or can I wait until March 2018?

    • Thanks for your question, Richard. If you are covered under a group health plan based on your wife’s current employment, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) that will let you sign up for Medicare Part B. You have an 8-month SEP to sign up for Part A and/or Part B that starts at one of these times (whichever happens first):
      • The month after the employment ends
      • The month after group health plan insurance based on current employment ends.
      Usually, you don’t pay a late enrollment penalty if you sign up during a SEP.
      You should always check with your health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for you. To learn more about the Medicare enrollment periods visit http://www.Medicare.gov. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 if you need further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

  53. November 29, 2017
    Would someone … anyone please provide me with credible researchable document(s) that substantiate; why … December 7th is the ‘line drawn in the sand’ for this “Open Enrollment”? Where (i.e.: who, what, where, when AND WHY) did this originate from? Is this date and the term and meaning; is it a rule – a guideline or is this legislated law?

    • Hi Lynn, if you are covered under a group health plan based on your (or your spouse’s) current employment, you may qualify for a Special Enrollment Period that will let you sign up for Medicare Part B. If you didn’t sign up for Medicare Part B when you were first eligible, and you aren’t eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, you can sign up during the General Enrollment Period between January 1–March 31 each year. To learn more about the Medicare enrollment periods visit http://www.Medicare.gov. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. We hope this information helps.

  54. I’m currently on Medicare and retired from a public service job of 30 years. recently moved to a new state and the Senior Advantage Plan (HMO) I had before isn’t in the new state. I will need to find another SAP or supplement in the new state now to coordinate it with Medicare. I am in my own open enrollment period now with the retirement system that administers my benefits and my existing Senior Advantage Plan. The open enrollment period for Medicare ended already. Will I be able to select a new SRP or supplement after the normal Medicare open enrollment period ended? I will be working with a broker in the new state to find a competitive plan soon.

  55. I wish to opt out of Medicare A & D enrollment for now as I am still employed and wish to use the employer’s insurance. Their insurance is credible to Medicare’s A and D and it also covers my spouse. Next year I will be retiring and will wish to enroll in Medicare at that time. I turn 65 tomorrow and haven’t been able to reach the right person to handle this in months. Time is running out, can you please help? Thank you

    • Hi Don. Our policy requires a personal interview be conducted with everyone who wants to terminate their Medicare Part A & Part B benefits. Representatives at your local Social Security office will help you submit the required Form CMS-1763, “Request for Termination of Premium Hospital and /or Supplementary Medical Insurance”, or your signed request for termination, but we need to speak to you personally before we terminate your Medicare benefits to be sure that you fully understand the consequences of doing so. We do not offer Form CMS-1763 online.
      In most cases, you can only request disenrollment or changes to your Medicare Part C & D during the Annual Enrollment Periods, and would need to contact Medicare directly at 1-800-633-4227.
      Also, we suggest that individuals speak to their health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for them, and to prevent any penalties or delayed enrollment in the future.
      Generally, when calling our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. We hope this helps!

  56. On October 1st 2017, I will sent a letter indicating that I would get Medicare benefits starting January 1st 2018. I have been fighting for my Medicare card to arrive for the past 2 months. I was told that my enrollment is not until May of 2018. I have the proof of the letter you all sent me regarding my approval for benefits starting January 1st. I am in dire need of help. I am disabled and have been given the runaround for too long. Please help.

    • Hi Sandra, if you didn’t sign up for Medicare when you were first eligible, and you aren’t eligible for a Special Enrollment Period, you can sign up during the General Enrollment Period between January 1–March 31 each year. To learn more about the Medicare enrollment periods visit http://www.Medicare.gov. For more information call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and ask a representative to assist you, or contact your local Social Security office. Thanks!

  57. Wouldn’t it be nice if CMS sent people a short note letting them know if they are even eligible for Medicare? I am eligible for Social Security, but don’t have a clue if I am also eligible for Medicare part A and B. If I knew this in advance, it would help me decide what to do. If I have to pay for A and B, how much is it, and if I get Social Security, will those payments pay for the Medicare premiums?

  58. We stayed with a plan because it worked for us. After staying, the plan changed and we cannot afford our medication – mostly my husband. I am no longer taking my medication (because it is not life threatening) so that he can take his (life threatening – heart/diabetes)

  59. I made a comment and it didn’t post – the required information was there! My husband and I stayed with an insurance company thinking it would be the same – it worked for us. After the change date was past we found out we could no longer afford my husband’s meds (they changed the tier or something) so I am no longer taking my meds (non-life threatening) so that he can have his. We have a co-pay we can’t afford for mine/and his. We tried having the doctor change his script for the cheapest possible and the insurance company said they would not cover it. Sounds like kickbacks to me. I am so upset – don’t know if new policies are coming so that we can change companies at will. Insurance companies are running healthcare and the “care” in healthcare is totally GONE!

    • Hello Patricia. Generally, when you apply for Medicare, you can sign up for Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). However, because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you can turn it down. A beneficiary may refuse Medicare Part B, during his or her Initial Enrollment Period, if that beneficiary or the spouse, actively works and has coverage under a group health plan based on that employment, then he or she doesn’t need Medicare part B until the work activity ends or that health care coverage is dropped. To learn more about the Medicare enrollment periods visit http://www.Medicare.gov. Hope this helps!

  60. Is it correct that I cannot drop my Part B Medicare Coverage except during the open enrollment period? I just realized that due to the fact I covered under my husbands insurance at work I do not need Part B.

    • Thank you for your question, JoNell. In most cases, you can only request disenrollment or changes to your Medicare Part C & D during the Annual Enrollment Periods.
      If you are talking about your Medicare Part B, our policy requires a personal interview be conducted with everyone who wants to terminate their Medicare Part B benefits. Representatives at your local Social Security office will help you submit the required Form CMS-1763: “Request for Termination of Premium Hospital and /or Supplementary Medical Insurance”, or your signed request for termination, but we need to speak to you personally before we terminate your Medicare benefits to be sure that you fully understand the consequences of doing so. We do not offer Form CMS-1763 online.
      To make an appointment with your local Social Security office, call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks.

  61. My husband was employed/insured & received Medicare in Nov 2017 & chose only part A. in Dec 2017 was diagnosed with cancer again & accepted Hospice care in Jan 2018. can he now add part B & D?

  62. I need to know where I can apply for Medicare Part A & B online. I found the “Just Medicare” app. And the Medicare Part B app. But I could not find an app for both Medicare Part A AND B. Please send me the link.

    • When you apply for Medicare, you can sign up for Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance). Because you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you can turn it down. However, if you decide to enroll in Part B later on, you may have to pay a late enrollment penalty for as long as you have Part B coverage. We suggest that individuals speak to their health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for them, and to prevent any penalties or delayed enrollment in the future.
      To learn more about the Medicare enrollment periods visit http://www.Medicare.gov, and read our publication “Apply Online for Medicare – Even If You Are Not Ready to Retire“. We hope this information helps!

  63. Is this information available in Japanese?
    Is there a deadline to sign up for Medicare? My friend is working and may be 66.
    Does signing up for Medicare somehow affect Social Security?

  64. really not helpful information. You are telling people in our age group to shop for the best plan that fits our budget. This ain’t our first rodeo here. Check the rating? You think we won’t. Duh..”Hey guys we are really stupid ducks here. Just like sell us any ole plan you have laying around the office.”

  65. my prescription coverage changed effective April 1, 2018 following my spouses retirement. At that time I enrolled in an AARP drug coverage plan and thought I had also enrolled I Medicare Part D coverage.

    Is there a way to determine if I did enroll in Part D coverage? If I have not done so already, where can I find the enrollment form? I realize this is outside the normal enrollment period, however, it is my understanding that due to changes to my coverage (employer provided through March 31, 2018) late enrollment penalties would not apply. Is this true?

  66. My Social Security net benefits had been protected until Benefit Year 2017 by the Hold Harmless Rule as it applies to Medicare premiums. I have been a member (enrolled in) a Medicare Advantage Plan (Humana) for 5 years. Late October 2017, during the Open Enrollment Period, I opted to change to a similar Medicare Plan within Humana for 2018. In January 2018, I received a letter from Social Security advising me that my net monthly pension benefits for 2018 were reduced by $70.00 from that of my 2017 Benefit amount. My Hold Harmless protection was no longer in effect and my Medicare premium was increased to the full premium of $134 per month.
    Before I initiated my change of Medicare Advantage Plan (all handled directly with Humana), Social Security had confirmed to me in writing the amount of my Net Benefits for 2018, increase in my Medicare premium due to COLA, but no reduction in my Net Benefits.
    I have been in contact with both Social Security and Humana and both refer me to the other.
    In last communication from Social
    Security, they made reference to
    “HI 01001.255 Beneficiary Dropped from Group Payment Plan” as reason for the change in my Social Security benefit.
    I am at a loss and would appreciate your insight as to what and how HI 01001.255 Beneficiary Dropped from Group Payment Plan has impacted my loss of the Hold Harmless Protection.
    Thank you!

    • Unfortunately, but for security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Please continue working with your local office. You can request to speak with the manager to see how we can clarify all issues and find a resolution to your situation. If you are unable to visit the local office, you can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Thanks.

  67. My plan D prescription drug supplemental insurance has been canceled for non payment. How can I get reinstated?
    I take several medications that are expensive like insulin.

    Thanks you
    William R Yonker
    *** – ** – ***

    • Hello William. Unfortunately, and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot assist you. One of our representatives should be able to help you in your situation. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Thanks!

  68. I saw a reference that since I am still working if I delay applying for medicate It could result in my paying more, but I never found the facts about this.

    • Hello Lawrence. Generally, people age 65 or older, who are citizens or permanent residents of the United States, are eligible for Medicare Part A at no cost. if you are actively working and covered under your employer’s group health insurance program, you can delay enrollment into Medicare Part B until you stop working or the health coverage is dropped. However, we always suggest that individuals speak to their personnel office, health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for them, and to prevent any penalties or delayed enrollment in the future.
      If you are 65 or older and not ready to start your monthly cash benefits yet, you can use our online retirement application to sign up for Medicare ONLY and apply for your retirement benefits later.
      To learn more about the Medicare enrollment periods visit http://www.Medicare.gov.
      We hope this information helps!

  69. I need to make an appointment on October 4th or 5th so That I can enroll in Medicare. My birthdate is January 4th 1954.
    I would like to schedule this appointment in Boise Idaho.

    • Thank you for using our blog, Kirk. If you are within three months of age 65 or older and not ready to start your monthly Social Security benefits yet, you can use our online retirement application to sign up just for Medicare and wait to apply for your retirement or spouses benefits later. You can also call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to make an appointment with your local office.

      Individuals receiving Social Security benefits are automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.

    • Hello Jose, individuals within three months of age 65 or older and not ready to start their monthly cash benefits can use our online retirement application to sign up for Medicare ONLY and apply for their retirement benefits at a later date.
      Since you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you have the option of turning it down. However, we suggest that individuals speak to their health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for them, and to prevent any penalties or delayed enrollment in the future.
      Please read our publication “Apply Online for Medicare – Even If You Are Not Ready to Retire” . We hope this information helps

  70. I work with the State Health Insurance Assistance Program. I read a long time ago that S.S. or Medicare was sending out letters to people approaching age 65, reminding them to sign up for Medicare. We have never seen such a letter and can find no reference to it on any web site. Does it exist? Is the Medicare and You book sent out instead? If so, who receives it and when? People, not just the ones on SS, need a reminder to save them from penalties.

    • Generally, individuals already receiving Social Security retirement benefits, will be enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B automatically at age 65. Individuals not receiving benefits, will need to contact us about three months before their 65th birthday to sign up for Medicare only. You can sign up for Medicare only, even if you do not plan to retire at age 65.
      You may want to contact Medicare.gov for more information. Thanks!

  71. Hello,
    I just applied for Medicare…is there a separate application for Medicare part B? Or is what I filled out taking care of both?

  72. I am 65 on 9-27-18. I have a health plan through my husbands work. He will not retire until 2023. Do I need to sign up for Medicare now?

    • Hello Ellen. A person may refuse Medicare Part B, during his or her Initial Enrollment Period (IEP), if that person or the spouse, actively works and has coverage under a group health plan based on that employment, then he or she doesn’t need Medicare part B until the work activity ends or that health care coverage is dropped.
      However, we always suggest that individuals speak to their personnel office, health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for them, and to prevent any penalties or delayed enrollment in the future.
      Individuals within three months of age 65 or older and not ready to start their monthly cash benefits can use our online retirement application to sign up for Medicare Part A -ONLY- and apply for their retirement benefits at a later date.
      Individuals already receiving Social Security retirement benefits, are automatically enrolled in Medicare Parts A and B.
      To learn more about the Medicare enrollment periods visit http://www.Medicare.gov.
      For further assistance, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Or you can contact your local office directly.
      Hope this information helps!

    • Thank you for contacting us, Wanda. Unfortunately, and because of security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot assist you. To check on your Medicare, you will have to contact your local office or call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

  73. I am currently 66 years old, am employed full time and receive medical benefits from my employer. Do I have to register for medicare at this time?

    • Thanks for your question, Francis. If you are covered under a group health plan based on your current employment, then you may not need Medicare part B until the work activity ends or that health care coverage is dropped. However, we always suggest that individuals speak to their personnel office, health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for them, and to prevent any penalties or delayed enrollment in the future.
      Our policy requires a personal interview be conducted with everyone who wants to terminate their Medicare Part B benefits.
      To learn more about the Medicare enrollment periods visit http://www.Medicare.gov.
      For further assistance, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Or contact your local Social Security office directly. Thanks!

  74. site will not accept my medicare number.
    without spaces without dashes

    AND site will not accept my medicare number
    with spaces

    Please explain

    • Hello Charles. Some people get Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) automatically and other people have to sign up for it. In most cases, it depends on whether you’re getting Social Security benefits. See http://www.Medicare.gov for more information.
      Most people should enroll in Medicare Part B when they’re first eligible, but some people may choose to delay Medicare Part B in certain cases. Click here to learn more. Thanks!

  75. When will citizens receive the extra help rx reviews in the mail. My parents usually receive a statement saying they qualify or they need to fill out an application every year but I haven’t seen anything yet in the mail.

  76. By mistake changed my plan from:
    Welcare Dividend H1032-32-0
    To:
    Blue Medicare Classic (HMO) H1035-019-0

    Spent 3 hours trying to switch back to Welcare. I don´t think I succeeded because no confirmation.

  77. Does open enrollment include Part B enrollment? Aside from the Jan 1 to March 31 Part B enrollment, can there be a special enrollment due to special circumstances (like getting laid off from a job and being forced to retire)?

  78. how do I sign up for medicare. I turn 65 in Feb. 2019.

    Every web site I go to wants me to enroll in medicare secondary plans that I do not need. Can’t I just sign up
    medicare only

    • Hello Craig. Yes, individuals within three months of age 65 or older and not ready to start their monthly cash benefits can use our online retirement application to sign up for Medicare ONLY and apply for their retirement benefits at a later date.
      Since you must pay a premium for Part B coverage, you have the option of turning it down. However, we suggest that individuals speak to their health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for them, and to prevent any penalties or delayed enrollment in the future.
      To learn more about the Medicare enrollment periods visit http://www.Medicare.gov, and read our publication “Apply Online for Medicare – Even If You Are Not Ready to Retire“.
      We hope this information helps!

  79. I have applied for Medicare online approximately one month ago and need to know why it is taking so long to verify my acceptance. Also, I am told I need to make an appointment to deal with the SS office, but there is nowhere that tells me how to do that. SSA is VERY difficult to deal with. SSA has had many years to figure out how to do it’s work. Citizens are beginners so it should be made easy to understand. No thanks for your assistance.

  80. Our application for new will not let us use our original cards! New Medicare cards were sent to our old address. We need the address changed and need to get new cards as our County (Cass) in MN will no longer accept ours!

  81. I retired at age 62 and went back to work. I turn 65 in December. I received a Medicare Card (A & B) recently.
    I have a good plan through work and don’t need Part “B”. How do I get Social Security to reverse withholding $134 for the Part “B”

  82. I am trying to apply for straight Medicare. I do not understand how to fill out the forms or what I should do. Please call me back at 936-788-8488

  83. I am trying to apply for straight Medicare. I currently have Texan Plus HMO. I do not understand how to fill out the forms or what I should do. Please call me back at 936-788-8488

  84. my wife retired @ 62 & recieves SSI benifits can she get medicare or not till 65?? SSI #*** – ** – *** Stephanie Brachais 751 Los Coches Ave Salinas CA 93906 , we do a joint return my name Louis Casieri (husband) SSI *** – ** – *** . 831 676 3114H ,8317760232 Stephanie’s cell.
    thank you , Lou 831 776 0306c

  85. Hey, On your website I see lots of information, but not yet the place I need to sign up, so I can make my choice now that I am 65.
    beth Locke

    • Hi Beth, thank you for your question. You can apply online for Medicare even if you are not ready to retire. Use our online application to sign up for Medicare. It takes less than 10 minutes. In most cases, once your application is submitted electronically, you’re done. There are no forms to sign and usually no documentation is required. Social Security will process your application and contact you if we need more information. Otherwise, you’ll receive your Medicare card in the mail.

      You should sign up for Medicare three months before reaching age 65, even if you are not ready to start receiving retirement benefits. You can opt out of receiving cash retirement benefits now once you are in the online application. Then you can apply online for retirement benefits later.

      With our online application, you can sign up for Medicare Part A (Hospital Insurance) and Part B (Medical Insurance).

      If you are unable or choose not to file online, you can also make an appointment by calling us at 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can call us at TTY 1-800-325-0778.

  86. I am a college professor, will be 70 in March 2019. I am going to continue teaching. The HR Officer at my college told me that I do not have to have the Medicare since I am covered by the college faculty medical insurance. That was why I did not enroll in the Medicare Plan B 5 years ago.

    One thing worries me: Do I have to pay the late enrollment penalty when I retire after I am 72 or 73?

    Please help me. I have a Ph.D. degree, there are too many rules related to Medicare and I am confused, even to one who has been in 3 graduate schools.

    Thanks for your time and help.

    My email:

  87. I enrolled in part A when I turned 65, I am still working and have my employer’s insurance.
    I’d like to De-enroll in Part A so that I can participate in my employer’s Health Savings Plan.
    Can I do that and re-enroll just before I retire?

  88. I applied for Medicare Part A. I am turning 65 but still employed full time. When completing the online application, I saw a notice that I needed to follow up by mailing in the application. However, I did not see an address and cannot access the information again. I completed the online signature. Do I need to mail in my application?

    • Thank you for using our blog to ask your question, Roseann. You can terminate Medicare Part B if you or your spouse are actively employed and have coverage under a group health plan based on that employment. However, we always suggest that individuals speak to their personnel office, health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for them, and to prevent any penalties or delayed enrollment in the future. In addition, you should speak to a Social Security representative to ensure you will not encounter penalties later. Please contact your local Social Security office for further assistance or call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

  89. I will remain employed through January 2, 2019. Employer medical coverage will last until end of January. Do I still need to be enrolled in Medicare Part B by December 7, 2018.

    • Hello Gary. The enrollment period you’re referring to (October 15–December 7) applies to beneficiaries –already enrolled in Medicare Part A & B- wanting to make changes to their Medicare Advantage or Medicare prescription drug coverage for the following year.
      You must have Medicare Part A and Part B to join a Medicare Advantage Plan.
      If you’re over age 65, and covered under a Group health plan based on current employment, you may be eligible to sign up for Medicare (Part A & B) during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). We always suggest that individuals speak to their personnel office, health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for them, and to prevent any penalties or delayed enrollment in the future.
      For specific questions about your case, call 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and ask a representative to assist you, or you can contact your local office directly. Thanks!

  90. changing supplement insurance company and the new supplement insurance company is demanding my social security number along with my medicare health insurance number. my question is, am I required to give the insurance company my social security number?

  91. If I refused part B, and sent my Medicare card back, should I still call Social Security to tell them this so I don’t have a few when I try to reinstate it at a later date?

    • Hello Patricia. Generally, you will only need to sign and return the Medicare card with the indication that you want to decline Medicare Part B.
      It’s very important to keep in mind that a beneficiary may refuse Medicare Part B, during his or her Initial Enrollment Period, if that beneficiary or the spouse, actively works and has coverage under a group health plan based on that employment, then he or she doesn’t need Medicare part B until the work activity ends or that health care coverage is dropped. However, we always suggest that individuals speak to their personnel office, health benefits advisor, or health plan to see what’s best for them, and to prevent any penalties or delayed enrollment in the future.
      To learn more about the Medicare enrollment periods visit http://www.Medicare.gov.
      For further assistance, call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

  92. If I am working and plan to work until after I am 67, do I have to sign up for Medicare Plan A?
    I signed up for Plan A two weeks ago because I thought I had to. But, I loose the contribution to my HSA.
    How can I keep my HSA and still contribute to it?

  93. Looking for feedback on “special enrollment” with termination of an employer HSA health insurance coverage. Spoke to a Medicare help line last month and was told I would be entitled to special enrollment as of 1/1/19. I believe the termination of the HSA should qualify for this type of enrollment. BUT when I attempted to enroll via social security phone enrollment was told I was misinformed and would need to pay penalties. Can you clear this up for me?

    • Hi Theodore, thank you for the question. If you’re over age 65, and covered under a group health plan based on current employment, you may be eligible to sign up for Medicare (Part A & B) during a Special Enrollment Period (SEP). We always suggest that individuals speak to their personnel office, health benefits advisor, or health plan representative to see what’s best for them, and to prevent any penalties or delayed enrollment in the future.

      For specific questions about your case, call 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and ask a representative to assist you, or you can contact your local office directly. Thanks!

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